Scoot Commute

How am I gonna get home?

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2010/03/31

Flood of epic proportions. Before I left campus yesterday, I contemplated which of my two usual routes would I take. I could take the high-ground route but it feeds into a major artery out of Providence and it’s usually irritatingly backed-up on rainy days so I can only imagine what it would be like as people flocked out of the city in the worst flooding seen in hundreds of years.

I decided to take the route that goes through the Valley neighborhood. On the ride in, some of the streets were blocked off but I still got through with little issue. I don’t know which part of my brain did not compute ‘Woonasquatucket river is at least 5 feet above flood stage’  because this route goes right along the river.

I’m riding merrily along, avoiding the new potholes (and the old potholes), thinking ‘this is great, no problems!’ I come to the end of the hill at River Avenue and make my right onto Valley. Uh oh.

So there I am, sitting on the Buddy at the corner of Valley and Atwells Avenue, wondering, should I turn around and take Valley to Dean and deal with all the traffic that I’m certain is snarled into a Medusa hair nest, or make a right on Atwells and try to figure out how to get over to the southside.

I took the right. Traffic was not moving and there was a cop car sorta blocking a 1/2 lane so I didn’t want to pull anything funny. I finally made it up to the first light and took a left. I had no idea how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be, but I did know what direction I needed to head in. Down some street named Appleton I come to a T. I swung a left because that was where the traffic was backed up. I figured they knew more than me. We went over a bridge and the river had flooded over the banks and was gushing. In a bit of justice the lot around Ocean State Scrap Metal was filled with water, at least 3 feet of water, and recycling bins were floating in the lot. On the other side the river was flowing through trees and leaves and just about touching the bottom of the bridge I was riding, very slowly, over. It was very, very cool, and a  little scary.

I have to hand it to my fellow commuters because everyone was pretty good. Mind you, lots of no headlight drivers, but people were allowing one-one-one-one merges at stop signs.

I finally spotted a street sign I recognized (I couldn’t believe there was a street sign to begin with!) and swung onto Delaine. This brought me back to Valley to a section that wasn’t engulfed in water. One act of stupidity was a car that made a left between the 6 orange and white barrels blocking off the flooded section of street. Whatever little white car driven by an obvious idiot.

I made it up to the light at Valley and Broadway. Lo and behold, it was out. Many of the electrical substations are submerged and there are brownouts going on across the state. I needed to make left through traffic to get up onto Broadway and into freedom. Some chica in a green Toyota didn’t want to let me slip through, even though the traffic was so backed up it wasn’t like I was slowing her one bit.

I scooted through and the rest of the commute home was uneventful. I would have gotten more video but it had started raining very heavily (again) and between my bulky gloves and my desire to get home, it was too difficult to whip the Flip out.

I wish only good thoughts to the many Rhode Islanders who have been severely affected by this massive flooding.

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